How To Win a Desi Girl’s Heart

by Vaishali Rana 

This post has been re-published with permission from

“Koi pyaar kare toh tumse kare, tum jaise ho waise kare.. Agar koi tumse badal kar pyaar kare toh woh pyar nahin woh sauda kare.  Aur sahiba, pyaar mein samjhota nahin hota…right?”– Mohabbatein

(Translation of a dialog from the movie “Mohabbatein”: “If one must love, they must love you. As lovely as you are, they must love in that way. And if someone loves only for the love they hope to get in return, then that’s not love, it’s a deal. And my dear, there’s never any deals when it comes to love, right?”)

This blog post goes out to all my people in a relationship with desi girls.

We are not easy to please and we demand extraordinary love stories that are unrealistic by most standards.  Am I going to apologize for this?  Definitely not. I expect singing and dancing in the rain with at least four outfit changes, synchronized dance moves, and loving glances without the frisky stuff.  Is that completely unnecessary? Yup.  But will I let anyone destroy the picture Bollywood has so perfectly painted in my head? Nope.

In an effort to help out my fellow people who are dating a desi girl, I will offer up some advice on how to win them over because my Gingerbread definitely mastered winning my whole heart, even more than he already has, this past weekend.

desi girl [Photo Courtesy of Vaishali Rana]]

I will set the mood by telling you we are not perfect, and we experience ups and downs like all couples.  While we haven’t figured everything out, what we have mastered is understanding when the other is having an “off” day and trying to take care of the little things that will put a smile on their face.  Much like most couples, I was having an “off” week last week.  

Nothing was going wrong, but nothing was going right, and I was needing to eliminate whatever negative energy I was housing. Devin, being as wonderful as he is, sensed this and offered to do anything he could to help me get back to where I needed to be.  He did more chores, he gave me time to myself, he took care of our dog Cudi, but I was still missing something, and the worst part was that I had no idea what that was.

[Read More: Interracial Relationships: Can It Work?]

On Thursday night, Devin informed me that we would be having a date night that weekend.  He then told me I could pick any Bollywood movie I wanted and we could cook dinner together. As Saturday came around, he changed his mind and suggested we order Indian food instead of cooking, because he knew how much I loved it.  When I was going to pay for the delivery, he held my hand, pulled out his credit card, and with the sweetest smile, simply told me it was his treat.  As soon as we ordered dinner from Saffron Grill, I told him I was going to take a shower to which he replied, “Let me know when you get out of the shower and before you come out to the living room, okay?  I have something I want to surprise you with.”

I honestly didn’t think too much of it. I went about with my shower and took my time because let’s be honest, hot water feels amazing. When I was finally finished, I can tell you I wasn’t prepared for what was about to come.  As I knocked on the bathroom door from the inside to let him know I was done, he greeted me at the door and said, “Shali Rana, party of two?”

While I was in the shower, Devin had set up a pillow fort and sleeping area in our living room in front of the TV.  He had Netflix up and running and told me to sit down and pick whichever Bollywood movie I wanted to enjoy, AND he didn’t rush me. (I can hear the “aww’s” of any desi girl reading this post and is truly in love with the Indian culture.)  Eating amazing Indian food while watching a Bollywood movie on a homemade lounge area that had a heated blanket turned to medium is pretty close to perfection in my eyes.

The movie I ended up picking was “Hum Saath Saath Hain.”  For those of you who don’t know, this movie is a three-hour long saga of parents who raised four children out of unconditional love, and then the villains of the movie make the mom doubt how she raised her kids to break up the family.  There is also a lot of song and dance, probably more so than the norm.

I hadn’t seen this movie in a while, and there is more feel-good cheese embedded in every scene than in a whole weekend at Disneyland.  As Devin tried to read through all the sub-titles, his only reaction to the movie was, “wow, they smile a lot” and he continued to sit there and watch every song and dance sequence trying to piece things together.

I was in love, and falling harder and harder for this man. His simple suggestion of dinner and a movie at home, coupled with offering to do the things that made me happiest made me feel like a princess.  I’ll never need a ton to make me happy, but the fact that he is always willing to embrace my culture makes me feel that he truly understands and accepts me for the person I am.

It’s extremely easy to reject the things that are unfamiliar, but my Gingerbread open heartedly tries to learn Gujarati, he eats food with his hands every chance he gets and actually looks forward to participating in Bollywood dance routines at weddings.  Who would have thought?

desi girl[Photo Courtesy of Vaishali Rana]]

When we first started dating, I had no idea how we would make things work between two different religions, different cultures, and different upbringings. What I have learned over the past year and a half is that we share a common love for God, our families, and experiencing all of the different things this world has to offer. When reflecting back on our relationship, our differences became the things we needed to understand and accept about each other in order to make our inter-racial relationship work.

Is it easy dating a desi girl?  No, and it probably never will be, but I can tell you that it’s worth it. It’s also so worth dating a Gingerbread. In the end, I think it’s less about who you’re with and more about how accepting you can be of the things your significant other loves, even if you don’t feel the same way.  If you happen to be in love with an Indian girl, treat her to a Bollywood movie and Indian dinner night at home once in a while. I can tell you from experience that if she’s anything like me, she will absolutely love it, and she’ll love you more for the thought.

vaishali-rana-headshotVaishali was born in Connecticut, raised in San Diego and found her opinionated, passionate and independent self in San Francisco. She is a bit of east coast mixed with a whole lot of the west coast listening to the profound lyrics of Tupac, dancing the night away to Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai and saying all the Gujarati curse words she knows.  Vaishali works in the tech space for a startup during the day, and by night, is usually trying to do hoodrat things with her friends while trying to better herself and the world around her. You can follow her on Instagram and Snapchat @facesbyvaish.

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